This I Believe

Christian - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in adrenaline. In times of complete chaos, the body finds a way to escape from total entropy and restore order. When all seems lost, the body can do the unimaginable to make things right. Super-human strength can be acquired, making it possible to lift what no one man could under normal circumstances. Lightning speed, agility, and coordination help people to outrun danger or to pursue a target.

However, I believe that the greatest gift from adrenaline is its ability to literally slow down time. When someone’s adrenaline is pumping, his or her brain can pick up more images from the eyes per second, which are strung together to create the long, fluid thread of “film” that we see. Therefore, people can process more information per second. This way, people can concentrate and react to their surroundings when it would otherwise be impossible to do so. For example, a lacrosse goalie has less than .16 seconds to react to a ball being thrown at them from 10 feet away at 70-90 mph. This would be impossible to do if they did not have adrenaline coursing through their veins and giving them the ability to make such split-second decisions under pressure.

Two summers ago my cousin Kasey and I were riding dirt bikes down in south Georgia where there are a lot of fields, hills, and back roads you can ride on. We had found this one grassy hill that scaled up for about 20 feet and then flattened out at the top. This way we could race up the hill and sail into the air, and at the same time have a safe, easy area to land. My bike was a 1977 Honda and was getting pretty old, in addition to the fact that I had just begun to outgrow it since it was only 75cc’s. So on what seemed like my hundredth time over the hill, I got a considerable amount of air and landed hard with all my weight on the foot pegs. This caused the right peg to brake, so I stopped and got off my bike to assess the damage.

All of a sudden, I heard the distant roar of an engine coming up the hill. When I looked up I saw my cousin shoot up over the edge. His body consumed the sky above me as he began to descend out of the air right above me. All I could do was close my eyes and duck, and when I looked up I saw my cousin getting up off the right and his bike on my left. He had gotten off his bike in mid-air and pushed it away from me, saving my life. Later that night all he could describe it as was adrenaline, adding that time had seemed to come to a stop.

I believe in adrenaline.